[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Respect the objectorsMost people in our society regard conscientious objection to military service as simply abnormal. It seems that we always try to deal with this matter by prejudice, not by sound debate or conversation.
Prejudice is none other than disrespect, as it denies any thoughtful consideration toward other persons. We have seen too many times in human history how prejudice has given birth to disasters.
Bias seems to be immortal, prevailing over human society. The reasonable argument from these social minorities ― conscientious objectors who refused to serve in the military on religious or political grounds ― has been ignored, as people try not to see the nonviolent and pacifistic implications of the argument. As long as there is no space given for these objectors who stand against weapons and murder, the discussion of individual freedom is trivial, and kneels down helplessly in the name of “stable maintenance of the society.”
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled against conscientious objection to military service. Fortunately, however, six out of 13 justices recognized the necessity for service to substitute for military duty. I hope that those judges’ recognition is based on the value of individual freedom, and will finally lead to the consolation of all kinds of social minorities in their pain.
by Yoon Yong-seon